MMA2 marks 17th anniversary, hints of regional operations

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), this week, marked the 17th anniversary of operating the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal II (MMA2), showcasing both success and prospects for the years ahead.

Quite significant in the milestone and its projections are the new prospects of its regional operations revving to life soon, optimizing the capacity of the flagship capacity.

It will be recalled that the flagship facility, under the Built-Operate-and-Transfer partnership model, opened in 2003 and has been embroiled in controversy between the BASL and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The touchy issues notwithstanding, BASL’s Acting Chief Operating Officer (COO), Remi Jibodu, said the terminal has been a success story of strength, resilience and commitment to good customer experience.

Jibodu reminisced on the terminal’s evolution since its inaugural with Chanchangi Airline flight. Today, it hosts at least 10 domestic carriers, fostering an ecosystem of 90 businesses.

The terminal, he hints, caters to over 10,000 daily guests and drives significant innovation and infrastructure development.

Regarding future strategies, Jibodu outlined ambitions for expanded terminal facilities and the launch of regional flights. This evolution aims to centralise domestic airline operations, increase transit revenue, stimulate job creation, and elevate connectivity.

“This expansion will open new revenue opportunities, benefiting all stakeholders involved. The ripple effects from increased foot traffic in our terminal to enhanced commercial opportunities will be felt far and wide,” Jibodu said.

He added that while regional operations’ launch date remains uncertain, “progress is evident through sustained infrastructure improvements and strategic investment.”

“The company is closer than ever to realising this milestone. They (regulators) have inspected the facility, and looking at what we have today, it has not changed, but we have improved it.”.

Recall that BASL was in 2003 invited to construct the new terminal after the former General Aviation Terminal One (GAT 1) got razed, and the preferred concession bidder, Sanderton Limited, failed to meet the deadline for the commencement of work.

In May 2007, BASL completed and opened the MMA2 facility under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, the first in the aviation sector in Nigeria, was however, immediately gutted by bitter rivalry, legal fireworks, and yet unresolved controversies between BASL and FAAN, especially over statutory years of operation of the facility and amortisation of the BASL’s investment.

While FAAN insisted on a 12-year operation period as contained in the initial agreement, BASL stuck to the 36-year option as detailed in an addendum to the agreement. In the middle of the fiasco, FAAN created the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) to rival MMA2 operations – in a clear-cut breach of the concession pact.

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